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A Quick Response to BBC's Article, "Venezuela's Economy in Further Slide"


World  (tags: Venezuela, Chavez, Hugo Chavez, President Chavez, President Hugo Chavez, revolution, democracy, socialism, politics, capitalism, capitalist media, media, propaganda, dishonesty, lies, imperialism, neo-colonialism, BBC, UK, U.K., elites, corruption )

Simon
- 1670 days ago - venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuela doesn't have over 19 types of breakfast cereal, so "the revolution has failed" - never mind all the advances in health, education, grassroots democracy, indigenous representation, recuperation of history & culture, & massive decrease in poverty.



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Comments

Jeanne M. (84)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:32 am
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort 'em as much as you please." ~ Mark Twain
 

Scott Z. (23)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:33 am
I am not a supporter of Hugo Chavez nor do I regard myself as a socialist, but I have noticed for many years now here in the U.S. that there has been a steady decline in the quality of Broadcast News. The copy being aired as news on the national networks' evening news seems to be nothing more then press releases written in government, military and corporate headquarters and then delivered into our home via TV.
With so much corporate influence in the news media already one can only wonder what ill effects on our nation the latest Supreme Count ruling will have which now allows money from corporations to flow into the shark infested tidal pool of political campaign ads.
 

Yvonne White (231)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:28 pm
So the BBC has been bought by FAUX "News"? LOL! I am a fan of Hugo - he's done more for the poor in This country (USA) than the Bu$h-Leaguers could stand! Yet the only Dems who stood up & took the help & Thanked him were Ted Kennedy & a couple others.. and Obama has NOT done the right thing & supported Indigenous peoples by supporting their Elected representatives!
 

Naoko I. (262)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:13 pm
Well, I can settle with 2 to 3 types of breakfast cereal. I don't like sugar coated ones anyway.

BTW yesterday happened to be Thursday, and in front of all the houses around mine there were gabbage sacks, to be collected. (Well, I try to reduce gabbage, so usually skip those days) Let's invite the BBC !
 

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (467)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:48 pm
Well, count me as a SUPPORTER OF HUGO CHAVEZ, of the BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTIONS, and I guess you could call me a SOCIALIST, too.

CAPITALISM IS THE ABSOLUTE PITS; THE GARBAGE DUMP OF THE UNIVERSE.

'The BBC’s coverage of Venezuela, in general, is highly biased against the government, but usually includes a few token paragraphs quoting government officials towards the end for “balance”. However, it is clear their main writer in Caracas, Will Grant, sees the country and its processes, changes, mistakes, dreams and problems, from the perspective of a very comfortable first world citizen. He sympathises with the upper class and opposition minority, and complains of petty things like the price of luxury goods, while ignoring all the improvements and the increased voice of the majority poor.

Further, the BBC, like most mainstream press today, targets Venezuela (as well as a short list of other countries like China), constantly highlighting what it perceives to be problems here in a way that it does not do for other countries. The media finds one or two mistakes or problems with the Venezuelan government, and uses it to discredit the Bolivarian revolution, and therefore, the possibility that other ways are possible. On the other hand, the 55% of Mumbai’s population living in slums, and the one billion people in the world living in slums and going without sufficient food, and so on, couldn’t possibly indicate that capitalism is the system that is failing.'
-----------------------

For exactly what CORPORATE CAPITALISM IS DOING TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THE ENVIRONMENT, see "AVATAR".
If you still "believe in Capitalism" after seeing that film.... I don't know if there's any hope for you!

In Capitalism, the DIRTY SECRET NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT, is that THE LUXURY GOODS FOR THE FEW WEALTHY, come at the EXPENSE of both people regarded as "less important" than the Wealthy, and at the EXPENSE of the Environment, which is DEGRADED for their production and use.

It's like under Capitalism, we all grow up in a BUBBLE; IGNORING "where things come from" and "how they are made" and "the REAL price to pay, Environmentally speaking". We just about ALL to SOME extent, have that "Privileged" mentality of the Wealthy, ASPIRING to those "Luxury Goods" SOME day; those Wealthy are our ROLE MODELS.

The concepts of "Socialism" bother people, because it's a WHOLE CHANGE IN OUR VALUES STRUCTURE; from wanting to imitate the Wealthy, be more like them, to BEING IN GREATER HARMONY WITH OUR TRUE HUMAN NATURE.

We've been BRAINWASHED to think the Wealthy are "Role Models" for a society.
Their "Status Symbols" ought to be more properly regarded as "Shame Symbols"! Symbols of EXPLOITATION.

See "AVATAR" and the UN-brainwashing begins!

 

Marty H. (119)
Friday January 22, 2010, 11:51 pm
Thanks Simon! Thought the article was a very good argument!
 

Christoffer Blomlöf (18)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:36 am
I guess it is difficult for the population of Venezuela to see the benefits of the oil exports as Chavez tends to buy so many weapons from Russia with the money, but I guess it is fine for him to buy weapons as he anti-US and pro-Castro.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:16 am
You have to live in Venezuela to actually comment with real life argument. Chavez says he is a Socialist! He really is a dictator who has destroy our country and unfortunatelly only time will set us free. Chavez does not accept opinions against any of his thoughts eventhough he is not right in most cases. Just look at the case of a couple of student who brought to a baseball game a banner with messages protesting claiming all the troubles that we have with electricity, water and insecurity. They were just persecuted by the police and they just did something that anyone could do in other country.And even worse, they were right.. we have many trouble with electrivity and robber and last year a slightly more of 14.000 people die because of delincuency.. I have been robbed four times in the last three monts! I live in Venezuela and feel very very insecure about almost everything. People is dying in hospitals because the medical system is going down... Chavez donates money to other country and we are in a lack of many basic services as home for the poor or just public transportation! It is easy to be a socialist in a capitalis country where you have no needs and you can leave the door of your house open...Another example, our baseball major league players claim to be pro-chavez but they live in the United States with all the accomodations that this country will offer and they show no intention of leaving it, but of couser they will never be able to drive a porshe in Caracas.. No comments about Chavez relatives who live in Florida! I invite you to come and live just for one month in Caracas, You will change your mind! And if you go to our other cities it will be just worse.
 

Terry S. (16)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 8:31 am
Interesting, you hear the same comments as Past Member, here on the streets of Miami in the Venezuelan neighborhoods. And there is no shortage of Venezuelans here in Miami. One has to wonder why?
 

Carl Nielsen (7)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:03 pm
Just wait and see what what happens when Chavez runs out of assets to plunder and distribute to the poor.
Imagine how "cool" it must be to be a merchant forced to sell your goods for less than it costs to import them and having soldiers enter your store to make sure you don't change the prices.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:32 am
"Christoffer IsNotMyAlias" wrote: "I guess it is difficult for the population of Venezuela to see the benefits of the oil exports as Chavez tends to buy so many weapons from Russia with the money, but I guess it is fine for him to buy weapons as he anti-US and pro-Castro."

First of all, there is no difficulty for the people of Venezuela seeing the many benefits of the revolution that they are making, with President Chavez as their current most popular leader (which is why they VOTED FOR HIM - IT'S CALLED "DEMOCRACY", ever heard of it?).

Secondly, the democratically-elected socialist government of Venezuela (which you and the capitalist media pretend is only one man, "Chavez") do not spend much money on their military, in comparison with other countries, including those countries, like Colombia and the USA, which have threatened Venezuela many times. Because of those threats, the people of Venezuela have chosen to build up their military as a deterent, using the most appropriate strategy, a guerrilla defence strategy, that recruits a significant number of passionate volunteers as army reserves, as militias. But despite that, Venezuela has quite a small military budget compared with nearby countries, AND Venezuela spends little on its military relative to Venezuela's social spending (e.g. health care and education). In comparison, capitalist countries, such as the USA and Colombia which have threatened to attack Venezuela, have much higher military spending, compared with their social spending.

Hugo Chavez is only "anti-U.S." to the extent that the U.S. capitalist state has threatened and used violence against Venezuela and the people of the Third World in general, including the fact that the U.S. capitalist state supported a coup against the democratic government of Venezuela in 2002, supported a bosses' campaign of economic sabotage against the democratic government of Venezuela in 2002-2003, and continue to give millions of dollars each year in support of VENEZUELAN political parties that are against equality and democracy in Venezuela (thus violating the sovereignty of Venezuelan democracy), and that are linked with the 2002 coup and other fascist violence, Colombian paramilitary death squads that have infiltrated Venezuela, and local violent rightwing dissidents and bosses who hire thugs to kill labour unionists and peasant leaders.

Fidel Castro and the Cuban people's revolution have achieved plenty for the human rights (including the right to food, clean water, health care and access to education) of people in Cuba and the people of the Third World in general, sending more international aid workers to Third World coungtries than any other country does!!!
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:55 am
"Past Member" wrote: "You have to live in Venezuela to actually comment with real life argument. Chavez says he is a Socialist! He really is a dictator who has destroy our country and unfortunatelly only time will set us free. Chavez does not accept opinions against any of his thoughts eventhough he is not right in most cases. Just look at the case of a couple of student who brought to a baseball game a banner with messages protesting claiming all the troubles that we have with electricity, water and insecurity. They were just persecuted by the police and they just did something that anyone could do in other country.And even worse, they were right.. we have many trouble with electrivity and robber and last year a slightly more of 14.000 people die because of delincuency.. I have been robbed four times in the last three monts! I live in Venezuela and feel very very insecure about almost everything. People is dying in hospitals because the medical system is going down... Chavez donates money to other country and we are in a lack of many basic services as home for the poor or just public transportation! It is easy to be a socialist in a capitalis country where you have no needs and you can leave the door of your house open...Another example, our baseball major league players claim to be pro-chavez but they live in the United States with all the accomodations that this country will offer and they show no intention of leaving it, but of couser they will never be able to drive a porshe in Caracas.. No comments about Chavez relatives who live in Florida! I invite you to come and live just for one month in Caracas, You will change your mind! And if you go to our other cities it will be just worse."

This article is written by my friend, Tamara Pearson. She has been living and working in Venezuela, amongst the working class people, and participating with them in the Venezuelan democratic socialist revolution, since 2007. She has written many news articles, and she has been writing a blog of her personal experiences as a participant in the revolution. Here is her blog:

http://gringadiary.blogspot.com/

Many of Tamara's news articles can be found on this non-capitalist news website:

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/

I met Tamara in Sydney, Australia, because we both did political activism in the same political movement - the Socialist Alliance. So I know her motivations - very similar to mine: compassion for the people of the world, and a passion for social justice, to transform society, for the human rights of everyone (including the right to food, clean water, health care, access to education and democratic decision-making).

My other democratic socialist friends from Venezuela, and from other countries who have visited Venezuela, all say similar things to what Tamara says: they all support the democratic socialist revolution that the people of Venezuela are making.

So that is the first hand information that I have.

We can also get as accurate information about any country as anyone IN that country can - because they get most of their information second-hand, the same as we do!

Often the people who believe in supporting the politics of inequality and exploitation (rightwing or capitalist politics), and are against the politics of sharing out wealth and power (democratic socialism) are people who are from the privileged classes, who want to maintain their privileges, or who are tricked by the capitalist media. They have more leisure time and opportunity to use computers, use the internet, and learn English, so it is often THEY whose voices we get in places like Care2.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:03 am
PS, I plan to live in Venezuela. But I won't hurry there. I have some things to sort out before I leave, and I am planning to go to Hong Kong to work teaching English, to be close to my girlfriend. But - if you will give me enough money to go to Venezuela NOW, then I will go. : P

For us WORKING CLASS PEOPLE, money to travel and live in another country for a month is not easy to get, so we must plan these things carefully!

However, my girlfriend and I are talking about going to Venezuela and Cuba for a visit when she and I both have vacation time from work. However, to live there is not so easy, because that would mean taking her son away from Indonesia, where all his friends and family live.... Welll, we are talking about what we will do.... First we will get to know each other better. I do intend to live longterm in Venezuela eventually, though... maybe when my girlfriend's son is older, we could do that?

Anyway, we will certaily visit Venezuela AND Cuba. I would like to visit each of them for about 2-4 weeks each, the first time.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:10 am
Terry S wrote: "Interesting, you hear the same comments as Past Member, here on the streets of Miami in the Venezuelan neighborhoods. And there is no shortage of Venezuelans here in Miami. One has to wonder why?"

Why? Because, as I said:

"Often the people who believe in supporting the politics of inequality and exploitation (rightwing or capitalist politics), and are against the politics of sharing out wealth and power (democratic socialism) are people who are from the privileged classes, who want to maintain their privileges, or who are tricked by the capitalist media."

It is those privileged types who have left Venezuela, because they fled after engaging in corruption, the 2002 coup and 2002-2003 campaign of economic sabotage, or participated in fascist violence, etc., and/or because they believe the capitalist media's propaganda that one must be rich in order to be happy, and because they believe in the capitalist media's propaganda campaign that demonises democratic socialism and spreads fear about it.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:36 am
Carl Nielsen wrote: "Just wait and see what what happens when Chavez runs out of assets to plunder and distribute to the poor.
Imagine how "cool" it must be to be a merchant forced to sell your goods for less than it costs to import them and having soldiers enter your store to make sure you don't change the prices."

Carl shows a profound lack of knowledge and understanding about the revolution in Venezuela. I will respond:

(1) The revolution is not Chavez alone. The revolution is a democratic process, in which the majority of people in Venezuela are participating.

(2) The people of Venezuela are not "plundering" anything. Note, I am talking about THE PEOPLE, not the exploiter class (bourgeoisie). It is only the exploiter class than can plunder people. The working class CREATE the wealth by their labour - they can't "plunder themselves".

The PEOPLE of Venezuela have an economy like any other country - but in Venezuela, the people are taking back ownership and control over their capital and resources (farmland, mines, oil wells, factories, supermarkets, trucking fleets, etc.) and the wealth that they create, from the bourgeoisie who have long plundered that capital, resources and labour-created wealth.

So, (3) who better to benefit from the resources of Venezuela than the PEOPLE of Venezuela? The bourgeoisie are rich already - any extra wealth for the bourgeoisie won't make them happy and will simply deprive the people of Venezuela.

(4) Whoever controls the economy of Venezuela, the wealth will run out eventually. However, unlike previous governments (capitalist governments) which used most of Venezuela's wealth to live in luxury, the democratic socialist government that the people of Venezuela have currently elected, is using that oil wealth to develop Venezuela: by building infrastructure, supporting the development of local industries (to diversify the economy and provide local products for more of the Venezuelan people's needs, such as food, house-building materials, tractors, phones, and computers), and spending much more money on health and education for everyone in Venezuela (which has positive economic effects in the long term).

(5) No merchants are being forced to sell for less than the cost price. They merely are being forced to reduce their profit margins from larger to smaller, to make products affordable to the majority of Venezuelans (working class people). So yeah, they won't get quite so rich off the working class people of Venezulea as they did under capitalist governments.
 

Carl Nielsen (7)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:37 am
Yeah - history has really shown that under socialism everybody is equal - just remember that some are more equal than others.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:48 am
Oh, oops, I wrote: "(4) Whoever controls the economy of Venezuela, the wealth will run out eventually."

But I meant the OIL wealth specifically. The rest of the economy will continue, just like any country that doesn't have oil wealth.

BUT, for the first time in Venezuelan history, a government is diversifying the economy, to make it less reliant on oil-production. The capitalist governments never diversified the economy of Venezuela - it took a democratic socialist government to start doing it, because democratic socialism is about benefitting THE PEOPLE in the long term, not the capitalist way which focuses on maximising short-term profits for capitalist shareholders.

Furthermore, the democratic socialist government of Venezuela has actually REDUCED how much oil it sells - along with the other OPEC oil-producing countries - which will make the oil last longer than under any previous (capitalist) government. Plus this way is kinder to the environment. And this current government is enacting other more environmentally friendly policies, too, such as building Venezuela's public transport system, protecting wilderness areas and preventing overfishing.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 3:10 am
Carl Nielsen wrote: "Yeah - history has really shown that under socialism everybody is equal - just remember that some are more equal than others."

I know that's an Orwell quote, from the book "Animal Farm" (an allegory of the Russian Revolution and the USSR in the years afterwards). The meaning of the quote is that in the USSR, the stalinists tricked people with fake socialist propaganda, to get people to support something that was not socialism: an undemocratic oligarchy.

So what??? That was not socialism. That was an undemocratic oligarchical system which dishonestly called itself "socialist".

Socialism (the marxist definition) is: "society owning and controlling the means of production, distribution and exchange". I.e. it is an expansion of democracy to include the economic sphere - the sphere of life that dominates politics and all aspects of daily life, such as food, water, work, travel, war and peace. And by definition, it is not mere capitalist-style representative democracy. It is much more participatory and driect than that, with regular local meetings (e.g. in each workplace) in which people discuss andand vote to decide things (that currently unelected bosses and school principals, etc., decide), plus plenty of referendums, and the ability for voters to recall representatives anytime during their term, for a re-election, e.g. if those representatives don't do what the people who elected them told them to do.

Socialism is a system which prioritises people's living standards and other human rights above private profits. And our natural environment is vital to human health and survival, and therefore, socialism therefore prioritises our natural environment, too.

In short, socialism is the sharing out of wealth and power more equally amongst humanity.

As you can see, socialism did not exist in the USSR, nor eastern Europe, nor Mao's China. However, the people of Cuba have achieved socialism to some extent, and to a lesser extent, the people of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have achieved a bit of socialism.

And to the extent that those peoples have achieved socialism, they have improved their standard of living and human rights in general.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 3:50 am
You're welcome Marty : )

And thankYOU for reading the article, and for your words of acknowledgement : )
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 3:57 am
Hi BMutiny : )
thankyou for your profound and educational comment above : )

I especially like this part: 'Their "Status Symbols" ought to be more properly regarded as "Shame Symbols"! Symbols of EXPLOITATION.'

I mean I never thought of that before, and I think what you said is a profound truth, that we can all agree on, when we see how capitalism functions.
 

Carl Nielsen (7)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 7:02 am
Do you really beleive the lie ?

Like all other Utopian societies, socialism will only work as a totalitarian system with a strong central organization making sure "resources" are properly distributed - the dictatorship of the proletariat will never become more than the front of a small upper class of oligarcs, who control the system neccesary to provide the "just" distribution of wealth. All except the "royalty" must be little blue ants worshipping their dear leaders - no disent can be tolerated..

No the way to equality is through liberal capitalism, where the workers become part of the bourgeoisie instaed of fighthing them.

You can hardly find a country in the world with a lower Gini coefficient than Denmark (Low coefficient = equal distribution of wealt) and you will be hard pressed to find a more capitalist country - even the socialsts here want to keep the capitalist system, since its unsurpased in generating wealth.

You cannot have socialism without violating human rights.
 

Elaine Dixon (71)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 7:30 am
good arguements all of them
 

Carl Nielsen (7)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:53 pm
6 TV stations in Venezuela have just been closed down for refusing to transmit Chavez's propeganda - funny kind of "democracy"
 

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:51 pm
Carl Nielsen wrote: "Do you really beleive the lie ?"

No, I don't believe the lie - THE CAPITALIST LIE. But you are apparently implying that "socialism is a lie", or something like that. Well, one can say that anything "...is a lie" - but without any credible evidence, without any logical argument, your claim is merely empty words, without meaning.

Carl Nielsen wrote: "Like all other Utopian societies, socialism will only work as a totalitarian system with a strong central organization making sure "resources" are properly distributed"

Ha! What a load of rubbish! First of all, communism, anarcho-syndicalism and other forms of anarchism are utopian societies - and they are all profoundly free, democratic and decentralised! (Note, when I say "communism", I DON'T refer to the capitalist propaganda that the regimes of the USSR, Mao's China, etc., which were ruled by "Communist Parties", were "communist systems". I refer to the MARXIST definition of communism - i.e. a system which cosists solely of democratic communes in cooperation with each other, without any state. This system is very similar to anarcho-syndicalism, a form of anarchism.)

Secondly, as I already wrote above, socialism is: " "society owning and controlling the means of production, distribution and exchange". I.e. it is an expansion of democracy to include the economic sphere - the sphere of life that dominates politics and all aspects of daily life, such as food, water, work, travel, war and peace. And by definition, it is not mere capitalist-style representative democracy. It is much more participatory and direct than that, with regular local meetings (e.g. in each workplace) in which people discuss andand vote to decide things (that currently unelected bosses and school principals, etc., decide), plus plenty of referendums, and the ability for voters to recall representatives anytime during their term, for a re-election, e.g. if those representatives don't do what the people who elected them told them to do.

"Socialism is a system which prioritises people's living standards and other human rights above private profits. And our natural environment is vital to human health and survival, and therefore, socialism therefore prioritises our natural environment, too.

"In short, socialism is the sharing out of wealth and power more equally amongst humanity."

What I wrote above is what socialism is. The totalitarian system that you propose, I would not touch with a ten foot pole! I have no interest in supporting such a system as you propose!

Carl Nielsen wrote: "- the dictatorship of the proletariat will never become more than the front of a small upper class of oligarcs, who control the system neccesary to provide the "just" distribution of wealth."

What are you even talking about? I said already, socialism is: "society owning and controlling the means of production, distribution and exchange"!!! In order for society to control a thing, all people must have an equal say - if not, then we would only have PART of society controlling that thing!!! Therefore, socialism MEANS a form of democracy (NOT DICTATORSHIP) - and that democracy must be much MORE egalitarian and democratic - i.e. participatory and direct - than capitalism's representative democracy. I.e. it must be much more like the democracy of ancient Athens - but with participation by women, too, and without the slavery that ancient Athens had.

You really don't seem to have paid attention to what I wrote in previous comments, Carl Nielsen!!! Please read something properly before you respond to it - and please address the ACTUAL POINTS THAT I MADE, instead of creating a strawman version of what I said, in order to PRETEND to disprove what I said.

Carl Nielsen wrote: "All except the "royalty" must be little blue ants worshipping their dear leaders - no disent can be tolerated.."

As I already said, that system was NOT socialism. That was the system that was FALSELY LABELLED as "socialism", by the rulers of the USSR, eastern European countries under the USSR's control, and Mao's China. More correct terms for that system are "stalinism", "maoism", or Orwell's term: "oligarchical collectivism".

Carl Nielsen wrote: "No the way to equality is through liberal capitalism, where the workers become part of the bourgeoisie instaed of fighthing them."

Individual workers can become members of the bourgeoisie class, but the working class can never become the bourgeoisie. This is because someone has to do the work. The bourgeoisie are those who own capital, and so exploit workers; and the working class are those who don't own capital, so must work in order to survive.

Actually, in the past, everyone owned some capital (farm land). However, capitalism has taken capital away from workers, and concentrated it in the hands of the bourgeoisie. This is as inevitable as how, if you play the boardgame "Monopoly" long enough, someone will eventually own everything, and everyone else will own nothing.

The dynamics of capitalism are alot like that boardgame, "Monopoly", but involve corporations (owned by the bourgeoisie) exploiting workers (i.e. paying workers less than the wealth that workers produce). EVERY corporation does that. It is the way the system functions. That is why the rich are becoming richer as time goes by, and the majority of the working class (the billions of working class people in the Third World) are staying poor, and the main increase in working class living standards has been the result of working class movements campaigning for their rights.

Carl Nielsen wrote: "You can hardly find a country in the world with a lower Gini coefficient than Denmark (Low coefficient = equal distribution of wealt) and you will be hard pressed to find a more capitalist country - even the socialsts here want to keep the capitalist system, since its unsurpased in generating wealth."

First of all, NO socialists anywhere support capitalism. If they support capitalism, they are CAPITALISTS, by definition, and by definition, they are NOT SOCIALISTS. Socialists are people who campaign to transform capitalism into socialism. That is the definition of the word. If people support capitalism, but call themselves "socialist", then they are LYING, just like the rulers of the USSR lied when they claimed to be a "Communist Party" ruling over a "socialist" system.

I don't know about that "Gini" thing. Sounds like a capitalist myth, conjured out of a bottle, like the mythical "genie". :P

However, I do know is that living standards for the working class have improved in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.

And I do know that Denmark is a first world country, which is an exploiter country, not an exploited country. So it gets alot of wealth from the Third World, instead of being plundered, as most of the world is, by first world countries. That is one of the main reasons for the high living standards in western Europe. The other reason is the success of working class movements in taking back their wealth from the greedy bourgeois owners of the economy (e.g. labour union campaigns to demand higher wages).

Indeed, as a result of hundreds of years of working class campaigning, Denmark is not so capitalist. The USA is more capitalist than Denmark is. MOst Third World countries are more capitalist than Denmark is - they have more privatisation and less social spending.

Carl Nielsen wrote: "You cannot have socialism without violating human rights."

On the contrary, socialism prioritises human rights OVER private profits.

Capitalism does not guarantee numerous basic human rights, in particular our economic rights (e.g. #25 on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) - the right to a decent living standard, including food, clean water, clothing, housing, quality medical care, and access to education.

The only way to ensure human rights is to democratise the economic sphere of capitalism, so that every worker has an equal vote in how to distribute the wealth that workers create by their labour. Until then, unaccountable private tyrannies (corporations) owned by mega-rich people, will continue to use their immense wealth and power to corrupt politics, violating human rights in order to maintain and increase their wealth and power.
 

Simon Wood (207)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:00 am
Carl Nielsen wrote: '6 TV stations in Venezuela have just been closed down for refusing to transmit Chavez's propeganda - funny kind of "democracy" '

A few unelected multi-millionaires and billionaires having their TV licences taken away and given to democratic media instead, does not mean that a country is "undemocratic". On the contrary the more we take the media out of the hands of that tiny mega-rich minority, and use it for out voice, the voice of the vast majority of people, the more democratic we are!

I have not heard of "6 Tv stations being closed". However, the vast majority of the TV, radio and newspaper media in Venezuela is still in the hands of rich anti-socialist corporations, which contrinue to criticise teh government more rabidly than those of any other country. So you have nothing to complain about, even if it was true. Howeverm, you have shown no evidence for your claim.

Here is what is really going on with Venezuela's media:


"Venezuela Applies Media Social Responsibility Law to Cable Channels"
http://www.care2.com/news/member/860103097/1369182

"The law establishes standards for child and adult programming, bans inflammatory content such as incitement to riot or assassinate the president, places limits on commercial advertising, & requires stations to broadcast important government announcements."

They are government announcements, from a government that has been elected by the vast majority of voters in Venezuela. It is not "propaganda".

I have seen no evidence that 6 were closed: only WARNED.

And most corporate TV stations participated in the April 11th, 2002 coup against the democratically-elected government of Chavez. In most countries, they would have been closed immiediately after the loyal people and loyal military of Venezuela reversed the coup on April 13th, 2002. But the people of Venezuela are very forgiving in their revolution. But if the rich people push them too far, or they will stop those rich people.
 
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